2015 Grantee Highlights: Girls U

Part of our 2015 Grantee Highlights series.

The Women’s Fund proudly awarded the Boys and Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County (BGCECC) a 2015 grant in support of their Girls U program–a ten-week summer session for girls ages nine and up to recognize opportunities for higher education and career paths.

With the summer coming to an end, the Girls U is wrapping up and has been a great success. “Many of our young women have an increased self-esteem and a wider view of what is possible for them,” said Ginny Wright, Executive Director of BGCECC.

The girls were able to meet and speak with successful women in the local area who serve as role models representing various careers and providing “tangible skill-building sessions, mentoring experiences, guest speakers, and field trips. Our girls have really gotten to learn things that they might otherwise not be learning and hear perspectives that they may never have heard,” Wright stated.

The sessions with these inspiring women focused on education, career preparation, financial literacy, relationship building, and positive attitudes, providing a fruitful vision for the young women in attendance. They learned about how to apply to colleges, how to create a resume, budgeting, social and professional etiquette, and much more. These girls are able to see that they too can be self-sufficient young women who are leaders in their community.

Girls U has not only impacted young women in Elizabethton and Carter County; the program has also further enabled the Boys and Girls Club to become more intentional with programming and in expanding its reach. It has given BGCECC the opportunity to highlight its programs to the broader community and engage community leaders from a number of professional backgrounds.

Without these speakers and this program, these young women would not have had the opportunity to learn these skills nor understand that there are strong women supporting and believing in their success. “Our staff and volunteers honestly do believe that each and every one of our girls can do exactly what she wants in life,” Wright said. “The girls feed off of this belief and are making plans for success that we could never have foreseen.”

The Boys and Girls Club hopes to continue these summer sessions each year and provide further opportunities for their girls to gain skills, build confidence, and become aware of the endless possibilities for their future as they advance through the program.

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